Bhutan is the best-kept secret in the travel industry. Due to its relative isolation, the country is not known to the outside world and until 1960, western visitors rarely visited the country. Mr. Burt Kerr Todd, the first American to ever visit Bhutan , wrote in a National Geographic article on Bhutan (Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon; December 1952).
Bhutan is protected by mighty Himalayas from the rest of the world and enriched by the essence of Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism, Bhutan has managed to remain shrouded deeply in a jealously guarded isolation. A basic understanding of Bhutan's Buddhism is essential to understanding the Bhutanese.
"Bhutan lies squarely in the centre of the Himalayas, amid the highest mountains on earth...in its 18,000 square miles can be found such variety of climate and scenery, such grandeur and peacefulness, and such fascination of the novel and unknown as few countries its size can boast. Its neighbours are Tibet to the north, Sikkim to the west, India's West Bengal and Assam to the south and east."
The "fascination of the novel and unknown" to this day continues to enthral visitors to Bhutan. Unlike neighbouring countries which encourage mass tourism, the Royal Government of Bhutan has chosen a more cautious policy on tourism largely to preserve its natural and cultural heritage. As such less than 5,000 travellers discovered Bhutan last year (compare this with half a million tourists who visited Nepal in the same time period). Visitors to Bhutan can feel the benefits of this policy and have a rich and unique travel experience. Some travellers can spend their entire time in Bhutan without ever coming across another tourist. There has never been a "visit Bhutan year" rather the country awaits to be discovered and explored and Adventure International promises to be your guide and fellow traveller on this journey of discovery.
During this flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchan Junga and other Himalayan Peaks including sacred Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by a representative of Kinga Tours & Trek Ltd. then drive to Olathang Hotel through Paro valley is enchanting. After lunch you will be taken to Ta-Dzong (Museum). Overnight at Olathang Hotel.
Drive winding road northwest up the Pa Chu to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined Fort, which once defended this valley from the Tibetan invasion. This fortress, now a burned shell, was once strategic in Bhutan's defense against the Tibetan invasion. Mt. Chomolhari, the sacred summit, reaches skyward beyond the Dzong. This can by viewed on a clear day. On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. After lunch walk up the hill just above Olathang Hotel to stretch your legs for the excursion to taktsang Monastery view point.
This morning follow the winding road beside the Pa Chu (Chu means river or water ) down stream to its confluence with the Wangchu then up-valley to Thimphu, the capital. Afternoon lunch at the Hotel. After lunch visit the Memorial Chorten, here the faithful circumambulate the shrine dedicated to the Late King telling their prayer beads as they walk. Overnight in Hotel
A full day of sightseeing and shopping in Thimphu. Wander in the town, visit the handicraft emporium. Visit the workshop where all the handicrafts are produced of you like. Afternoon visit Tashichho-Dzong. Overnight at the Hotel.
The journey to central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Tongsa takes approximately 7-8 hours. Packed lunch will be provided at the Hotel. Lunch stop at Chendeje Chorten. Overnight at Tongsa Tourist Lodge.
Drive to Jakar takes approximately 21/2hours. Tales of great teacher Gruru Padmasambhava dominates this holy valley. From the view point you can see Jakar Dzong "The castle of White Bird". Lunch at Tourist Lodge. Afternoon hike upto Lama Gompa, a place built by 1st King for his two nun sisters. Outside of Lame Gompa, one can see the old style of Bhutanese paper making. Overnight in Bumthang Tourist Lodge.
Walk in and around Bumthang valley or visit the diary farm, Swiss cheese factory and apple juice factory. Try to get some of each – they are best in Bhutan. Also fishing in Chamkhar chu (chu means river or water) can be done
The trek route takes you around the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for its richness in trout, lunch stop at Tangbi Lhakhang then you enter to the swan land Ngang Yul with its centre swan temple Nganglhakang. This part of the valley was at first inhabited by the swans who gave their name Ngang. The Lama Namkha Samdrup having a dreamt a vision of how to build a Gompa shot an arrow and at the spot where the arrow landed Nganglakhang was erected, Cultural programme can be arranged in the evening. Overnight in camp. Alt. 9500ft. Distance –20kms about 5/6hours.
Climb gradually to Phephela pass Alt. 3353m / 11000ft. the highest point on the trek route. The trail you follow until the pass takes yo through one of the most beautiful frosted area of this region. Allowing for many stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The trail you follow takes you along the Tang-chu, another trout filled river. Along the banks of this river is Tang Rimpochen Lhakhang who first foundation is ascribed to Guru Rinpoche and its second foundation to the "treasure finder" Terton Pemalingpa. On the way to Jakar you visit Mebar Tsho "flaming Lake". At Pangshing the transport is provided for onward journey. Alt 9000ft (approximately). Distance – 10 kms about 2-3 hours.
Drive to Tongsa, on the way you may fish some trout if you wish. Lunch at Tongsa Tourist Lodge. After lunch at leisure. Overnight at Tongsa Tourist Lodge.
Drive to Thimphu takes approximately 7-8 hours. Picnic lunch will be provided at the Tongsa Tourist Lodge. Lunch stop at Wang Guest House. Overnight at the Hotel.
Drive to International Airport at Paro for onward flight
What is Included in the Cost
- Airport pick up & Drop services
- 3 night’s hotel in Kathmandu with B/B Plan.
- Bhutan Permit & Visa Fees.
- Kathmandu to Paro to Kathmandu flight tickets.
- All night’s hotel in Bhutan.
- All sight seeing & Tour as per mentioned on Itineraries.
- English Speaking professional Guide.
- Temple/Ministries Entrance fees.
- All meals such as Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner during the period of Bhutan.
What is Excluded in the Cost
- All your Personal interests
- Drinks such as Bar bills
- Nepal re-entry Visa
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